Tired Of Being A Human Doing? Me Too – Here’s How I Became A Human Being Instead

We live in a society that is fueled and propelled by stress and pressure. I personally don’t do anything unless too many tasks have piled up on my desk. I then flip my stress switch and grind through all the tasks in one day and spend the rest of the week recuperating from that. 

I recently watched a yoga workout video and the instructor said, “now take some time for yourself. Remember: You are a human being, not a human doing.” I almost cried. 

I would define myself as a human doing. I rate how good my day was based on the amount of hours I worked or the number of tasks I ticked off my to-do list. I do, therefore I am. 

But that’s not what we’re designed to act like. The more we get caught up in the doing, the less we just “be,” and that becomes so dangerous. While getting stuff done is an amazing feeling, if we just keep blindly going through life checking off tasks and making new lists, we lose our light and soon get burnt out

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Here are some solutions I’ve found to become more of a human being than a human doing. If you’re anything like me, maybe this will come in handy. I hope this article feels like a hug to you. Please sit back, relax, grab a cup of tea, and know all you have to do for the next three minutes is get some advice and maybe feel a little understood.


Stop Multitasking

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I think the creation of multiple tabs has ruined our brains. Right now I have eight tabs up. They’re not relevant, either. Three are YouTube workouts, one is a baking show, three are work-related, and one is an audiobook. But they’re there, and they’re taking up space in my mind and on my computer. 

I also have about 300 mental tabs up in my brain. I’m constantly thinking of one task or one thing and then moving to the next. I never completely clear it out or finish the thought because I’ve moved too swiftly on to the next thing. 

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Whether it’s mental or computer tabs, we constantly have a plethora of things and tasks and subjects open in our brain and we don’t give ourselves the time to clear the tabs. We flit from one task to the next and do some at the same time and call it progress. 

The sad fact about multitasking is that it doesn’t actually work. You have to give 100% of your attention to one thing or else it won’t get done correctly or in the time it should. McGraw-Hill did a study on multitasking and found out just how bad it was for a person’s brain. One of the long-term effects of multitasking is loss of focus and a decrease in efficiency, even when the person goes back to only doing one task. 

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While sometimes multitasking can seem like the only way to get all your work done, it’s probably not. Slow down, eat the elephant one bite at a time, and do one thing.

Pay Attention to What Defines You

I was rereading one of my favorite books, To Hell With Hustle and the author made an amazing observation in the introduction. He remarked on people’s response when they were asked to introduce themselves. Americans will often say their job when they meet someone. 

I know I do this. You will know every intricate aspect of my job before you know the real things that make me me. I’m not saying I don’t love my job. My work is something that gives me joy and something I want to do, but it’s not who I am. I am not a freelance writer. I am an enneagram four, I am a creative, I am a coffee guzzler, I am a small human with a loud mouth, I am a knitter, I am a binger of crappy YouTube videos. I am so many things – so when I let my job define me, what happens when I don’t have that job anymore? Or if by some miracle I keep this job forever, who was I before this job? Is my worth only given to me because now I can put a paycheck to this great cosmic calling that I suddenly fulfilled? 

Next time you’re asked to introduce yourself, take a step back and ask if you’re presenting your identity through a trojan horse of something that requires doing from you or something that is freely you.

Finish the List and Finish the Day

I love my to-do lists. If there was a fire, I would grab my to-do lists first. I am convinced that there is nothing more satisfying than checking off a task in those little boxes. The problem comes once I check off the task and then add three more things. The list never stops and I never stop because there’s always one loose end. 

Start ending your to-do lists. Write down all the things you need to do for the day and stop. When you’ve checked everything off the list your day is done. This may mean some days you stop at 6:30 pm and some days you stop at 1 pm. Get comfortable with stopping and just finishing what you need for the day. 

While there’s something to be said for working ahead, don’t make it a necessary task. If you have extra time and energy or you know you need to do something, add that to your day, but maybe not to your list. Finish the tasks and stop.

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Cool Down

There’s a pose at the end of each yoga practice called the corpse pose. There’s another yogi name for it, but it’s long and I love the idea of becoming a corpse when you’re done with a good workout. The pose is simply you laying on the ground. The instructor usually gives you about 2-5 minutes of just laying there. I skip it all the time. I love getting my workouts in during the mornings and those calories burnt. I don’t burn a lot of calories just laying there. But we all desperately need time to just be still.  

There’s a mental benefit to letting your brain unwind. You need to just sit and accept and reward yourself and your body for what you’ve accomplished, whether it’s physical or mental. If you don’t stretch or cool down after a workout, you’re more likely to get sore. If you don’t unwind after work, your brain won’t switch off. 

After I sign off from work, I usually work out or go for a walk. Sometimes I’ll watch something online or get sucked into TikTok. Normalize letting yourself veg for a bit after you’ve worked hard. I let myself have mindless fun for a little bit while I transition from work mode into me mode. 

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When you don’t take the time to respect the transition of your brain and allow it to cool down, it won’t recognize that it’s done working. I do this too often, where I’ll marathon work tasks and after four hours of writing and generating ideas, I can’t stop and I don’t sleep because I’m looking for more things to write about and research. Give yourself a break and a moment to not do things.

Schedule Fun

I sound like a teacher. But I suggest this to everyone. Every morning when I wake up I try to plan at least one fun thing. This might be as simple as adding Chick-fil-A sauce to my dinner (the best thing in my fridge) or asking if my partner will take me out on a date. There’s something wonderful about literally forcing yourself to have a moment for yourself where you can relax and recharge and work doesn’t exist. 

Start designating times to turn your brain off for a moment and just be instead of do.

I understand the irony of me telling you that people do too much and then giving you a laundry list of things to do to combat this idea. But I do hope some of these suggestions struck a chord with you and might even help you be more present and less stressed in your life. Remember to take time for yourself and just be there. All you have to do is show up.


Are you constantly going, too? What’s your favorite way to combat stress and unwind? Comment below!

For More Mental Health Tips, Read These Articles:

I’m Having A Mid-Life Crisis – These Are 6 Ways I’m Coping With It

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